The effect of rural -to -urban migration on the diet and nutritional status of a peri -urban population in Iran
In spring 1994, a survey covering a total of 300 households was carried out to study the effect of rural-to-urban migration on nutritional status of recent migrants in Islamshahr, a peri-urban area of Tehran, Iran. The sample consisted of 97 long term migrant, 96 short term migrant and 107 rural households. The study revealed that intake of food energy, protein and almost all nutrients was higher among migrants. On average, both migrant and rural population had intakes of zinc and riboflavin below the requirements. In addition, the rural population had low intakes of vitamin C due to lower consumption of vegetables and poorer food diversity. About 26% of migrant children were stunted compared to 21% rural. The peak of stunting for short term migrant children was in 3–4 years age group suggesting a pre-migration history of chronic malnutrition. The prevalence of both underweight and overweight was higher for short term migrant adults. These facts and the observed better standard of living for the migrants suggest that rural-to-urban migration was mainly the result of rural-urban socio-economic inequalities which has to be addressed in the country's development policies.